In late 2005 California had a special election. One of the propositions on the ballot would have required unions to get member permission before spending dues money on political causes.
Those of us on the right see that as looking out for the free association rights of individuals, especially those who may disagree with the political stance of their union--and let's not forget, supporting a union is the law for teachers here in California, whether or not they choose to be a member of said union. The left saw this issue as a free speech issue for the unions.
I've said it too many times to count: the Right wants rights and freedoms for individuals, while the Left wants them for groups (and only certain groups at that).
Watch this video of California's professional teaching corps in action, trying to drown out a press conference announcing support for this ballot proposal (which lost, as did all the proposals in that election). Watch these brave men shout down a couple of women. Watch these supporters of the First Amendment as they try to deny First Amendment freedoms to others.
Union hacks, are you proud of what you see here?
If for no other reason than what we see in that video, I believe that CTEN, the California Teachers Empowerment Network, is a necessary and valuable organization for teachers. CTEN gives a voice to those disenfranchised teachers among us, teachers who don't always agree with the CTA and its politics. It allows an opposing voice to be heard, the inclusion of which would bring a true democratic spirit to the teacher's union--if the CTA were to listen.
(If the link above doesn't automatically open Windows Media Player, copy the URL and paste it into Media Player. Try this link for QuickTime.)
Good for that NRTW speaker for not letting the fascist pigs behind him from stopping him from speaking. By going forward with his speech, he made those morons look like the totalitarians they are.
Right out of the Gandhi/MLK playbook.
As I recently told my liberal teacher friend from NYC, my issue with unions for government employees is that such unions are not and can never be unions. They're institutionalized government bureaucracies. It's not quite so bad in a right to work state, but I can't imagine how unions ever got the power to extort money and use it without consent, much less how they defend it.
Let me play devil's advocate here. I don't like unions and I know how they run the teachers unions in other states. But then again, unions come about because workers feel they have no voice. When decent teachers get penalized, arrested or accused of serious offenses by parents who are simply off their rockers, there has to be some sort of defense. Most school district would prefer to settle out of court and quietly let teachers go without really investigating issues. That leaves the teacher with no job, no ability to get a teaching job and the feeling like they have been used. They have. I don't like unions, I don't live in a union state, but those types of feelings that lead to unionizations don't come out of no where. They come from desperation. And when you have no where else to turn for support, you clutch at straws-even those that are flawed and weedy.
EllenK, I agree--which is why I almost always support my *local* union. In fact, if I could, I'd be a member of the local but *not* of the state and national unions. But since the requirement is to join all or none, I join none.
If unions focused *solely* on Darren's pay, benefits, and working conditions, I wouldn't have a problem with them. But they don't, so I do. They're nothing more than PACs for left-wing causes, as I've chronicled many times on this blog.
And nothing excuses the behavior evident in that video.
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